I want to thank Beth and Tom Davis for their generous offer to loan me a chair to sit/sleep in during my chemo and radiation therapy. It rocks! (Literally, it is a rocker) And, it is a recliner. I'm a happy man... I slept in the chair the past few nights and it is perfect for my needs. Thank you Beth and Tom!
All that said, I have been quiet for the past few days because I've been enjoying the company of my "middle" sister, Lisa. Lisa is 4-years older, while Linda is 6-years older. I love time my sisters, especially the alone times so that we can share and be vulnerable, talking about life, goals, setbacks, hurts and general befuddlements. I love my sisters and parents... I'm seriously blessed with an amazing family that loves me dearly. Especially my daughters. I don't feel like I deserve to be loved as much as they love me. They give me unconditional love. I seriously have all that I could ever want. I could end today's blog installment right there, but there is more...
I have been learning a hard lesson over these past few weeks. I am kind of a hypocrite, really.
Over the years I have given to people, organizations and local charities. I believe giving should come from an altruistic heart, to be philanthropic and to make a difference. The truth is, I have had a "There but by the grace of God go I" perspective. I love to give and bless others, but I don't need to accept from others because... because... Why is it? What was blocking my ability to receive from others who have graciously offered to help financially as they are able or to receive offers of housecleaning, etc.? I could only come to one conclusion.
Ouch. I am getting nerve pain again from tears starting to well up.
I am a prideful man who would rather rob others of their desire to give and show support than look weak and "needy."
So, I ask your forgiveness. I was stubborn and prideful and wrong. I am not saying this as a sneaky request for donations. I am saying this because it is a humbling realization that this cancer stuff is healing my heart.
Are you stubborn? Prideful? Robbing others of their desire to love and bless you? It doesn't have to be in the form of cash donations, but in other ways?
Paul quotes Jesus in Acts 20:35... "It is more blessed to give than receive." I was being a better "Christian", right?
Then I flashed back to a story that was taught to me in Sunday School about Jesus kneeling down to wash his disciples feet and Peter says there is no way he is going to let Jesus wash his feet. Jesus replies that unless he lets him, he has "no part" of him... That can be interpreted many ways, but to my heart, Jesus was saying that it would mean Peter would not be His true friend. Peter heard those words and said (in 2013 vernacular) "DUDE! Don't stop at my feet, wash my hands and head too!"
Learning to receive love is hard, but I'm trying. The thought that someone could truly want to clean my house does not compute. Getting on their knees to clean... cleaning toilets... There is no way they could really mean what they offer, right? My inability to say, "Yes, please. That would be a blessing to me" is not coming easily.
I cannot desire to wash others feet but deny them the chance to do the same (metaphorically speaking... we can get pedicures for that these days) That said, it is a process. I need to stop being Peter.
Today when I told my girl's mother, Debbie, about what I'm struggling with, she said, "Let people love you and stop denying them the chance to bless you... you are stealing their blessing too..." Wow. I'm not just prideful, I am stealing something that leads to them being blessed as well.
Good thing I am a work in progress.
In a similar line of thought, I want to scold my friends about something. We may not see eye-to-eye on our belief systems, but regardless of what you believe, you need to know that if you want to be my friend, you need to let me be your friend.
Did you hear that? If you want to be my friend, you need to let me be your friend.
Paul says in Galatians 6:2 that we are to carry each others burdens if we want to fulfill the law of Christ. That's huge. So how does this apply to you? Let's say you had a bad day. The barista got your coffee drink order wrong and you didn't realize it until you got to the office... You got a flat tire... you lost your job... your mother died...
You would be stunned to learn just how many of my friends have endured the stresses just listed and more and have felt guilty "burdening me" with their problems. Now who's robbing who? Please... as I sit in my new (gently used) rocker/recliner... I can either watch TV or pray for you, helping to carry your burden. Please, please, please do not rob me of my chance to be your friend. If you've had a bad day, you've stubbed your toe, broke a nail or lost a loved one, no problem is bigger or smaller than mine. It's just life-stuff that we have to work through. Please let me love you through it rather than from the sidelines. Let me be your friend. Let me be blessed by blessing you.
~Robert B. Haase,
A Blessed Man